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Information about Accessibility

Published on March 7, 2009

Author: zoel22



Accessibility for government websites. Case Study by Zoe Laycock.

e-Accessibility Welcome Zoe Laycock – Web Manager 9 March 2006

Overview The Internet has led to substantial cultural transformation Retail Banking Leisure activities Government services Social interaction

Overview Internet Access in the UK 29 million adults 64% of the population (86% of these have home access) 12% of homes have broadband access – growing

And yet… Disability Rights Commission Research Serious accessibility and usability problems in over 1000 main service websites in the UK 81% of websites tested failed to meet basic (WAI – A) accessibility standards Over 45% of problems encountered by disabled users of websites would not be detected by the automated test check points

UK snapshot 10 million disabled people in the UK 10 million potential customers People with disabilities don’t live in a vacuum Wide sphere of influence

Consequences If you ignore the potential of accessible websites: Lose out on potential revenue Limit your organisation’s effective communication Miss the opportunity for efficiency savings Have negative publicity – sector reports Be at risk of litigation

Accessibility makes sense It makes sense… Ethical Sense – age of corporate social responsibility Legal Sense - DDA Economic sense – maximises commercial success

Experience matters! Growing realisation Success of online service delivery & take-up is dependent on user experience.

Experience matters! Websites that are: Unintuitive Difficult to navigate Complicated Unclear FAILURE

e-Accessibility Movement for change…. Legislation – DDA – legal framework Government Recognition – 2007 Commission Equality & Human Rights Awareness – industry participation in conferences Standards – Launch of PAS 78 – Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible websites

Hounslow web project Ongoing commitment to achieving high standards of accessibility and usability. Effective: Communications issue Provision of customer service

Hounslow web project Key Phases Phase 1 – key features provision underpinned by compliant and well formed code Phase 2 – focus on engagement, inclusion and increased take-up by improving website usability & enhancing the user experience.

Phase 1 features Key assistive features Compliant code – WAI AA Speech enabled Information availability options Text only Change contrast Adjustable text sizes Printer friendly formats

Change contrast example Key assistive features Compliant code – WAI AA Speech enabled Information availability options Text only Change contrast Adjustable text sizes Printer friendly formats

Browsealoud example

Phase 1 features cont’d… Key assistive features Access keys – enables navigation without a mouse Interpretive and descriptive tags for images

Phase 1 features cont’d… General assistive features Various navigational options (main, breadcrumb etc..) Powerful search engine for information retrieval

Phase 2 Engagement, inclusion through usability enhancement User testing integral to further development process Engagement Disability Forum participants Website usability and accessibility ‘health check’ audits Ongoing refinement and improvement of our website

Summary Website accessibility and usability requires commitment Continuous process of development If carrots not convincing, then the stick is the DDA

Thank you! Zoë Laycock Web Manager e: Special thanks to:

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